The glory of Jesus Christ

December 24, 2009

“Anyone contemplating the life of Jesus needs to be newly and more deeply aware every day that something scandalous has occurred: that God, in His absolute being, has resolved to manifest Himself in a human life. He must be scandalized by this, he must feel his mind reeling, the very ground giving way beneath his feet; he must at least experience that ‘ecstasy’ of non-comprehension which transported Jesus’ contemporaries (Mark 2:12; Mark 5:42; Mark 6:51).”
- Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar, p.159.

It’s Christmas time yet again in our world. While the rest of the world is giving gifts and taking days off from work, there is a greater invitation for us as believers in Jesus. More than gifts, vacations, and Christmas parties, we have the invitation to experience the “ecstasy of non-comprehension” as we look at the little baby lying helplessly in that foul-smelling feeding trough, knowing that we are beholding God Himself - the creator of the world and the sovereign ruler over all things.

The incarnation is more than just a doctrine of the Christian faith; it must be the object of our contemplation. Angels and humans alike peer into the greatest mystery of all time – “God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the gentiles, believed on in the world, and raised up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

How did He do it? How did the eternal God who is boundless fit fully inside of a human frame? What is to the human frame that pleased Him so that the one who made all things could dwell in flesh? Not only is He our King and our Maker, but He is now also our Brother. For this is true joy – to ponder that which can never be fully fathomed!

The incarnation was perfectly designed by God to bring us into worship. More than just blowing our minds, it was made to leave us spell-bound with our jaw dropped to the floor crying out “I love You!” to God.

The One who was unknowable and unapproachable has now made Himself known. The little baby lying in the manger is more than just someone who came to take away our sins. He came to declare the very name and nature of God, because He is God. There is no longer any mystery surrounding His person. God has made Himself fully known in the person of Jesus Christ. And He is now no longer unapproachable. God is a real, living, breathing human being that we can feel, talk to, and one day, see again.

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV)

For in Him (Jesus Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9 NKJV)

For this is why we call ourselves Christians – not because we merely believe a message or we have had our sin forgiven, but because we are in a growing, vibrant friendship with this Man that was born in obscurity in a small town in the Middle East, yet was fully God from the dawn of time.

Though the world may want to take Christ out of Christmas, may you stand this season as a faithful witness to who He is, consumed with His glory and indescribable worth, and having a heart fully set on Him as your magnificent obsession.

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